The National Science Foundation yesterday announced that it will invest $5 million in grants to 14 universities to work on developing new ways to share and organize data.
The grants focus on leveraging the opportunities presented by “cloud computing”—using Web-based services to execute computationally strenuous tasks more easily and cheaply. Experts have been abuzz for some time about how the development of cloud computing stands to benefit higher education, particularly with regard to research and analysis.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Yale University, for instance, each got grant money to develop more effective applications for large-scale data analysis. The foundation awarded funding to other universities, such Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, to work on various ways to make Web searches more effective. The University of Maryland at College Park got money to build programs that can fluently translate text into different languages to facilitate cross-cultural exchanges of information. –Steve Kolowich